Rhode Island’s “Dancing Cop” was taken off his dance floor Tuesday.
The Providence Journal reports the city has fired Tony Lepore, a retired officer who since 1984 has been working part-time directing holiday traffic there. He was fired after he led a boycott of a Dunkin’ Donuts where a worker wrote #blacklivesmatter on an officer’s coffee cup.
“Recent statements made by Mr. Lepore gave the inaccurate impression that he represented the position of the Providence Police Department,” Public Safety Commissioner Steven Paré said in an email statement. “Mr. Lepore was not authorized to speak on behalf of the Providence Police Department and his actions were, in my judgement, a disservice to the Department and to members of the Providence Community.”
In 2011, The Boston Globe produced this video feature about Lepore.
Lepore is apparently still doing events and other appearances he was booked for, according to his Facebook page. He said he’s been contacted by representatives for other area police departments.
He told the Associated Press his firing was purely political.
“I feel bad I’m not going to be there anymore,” Lepore said. “But I had a good run. I had a good run. I’m known all over the country, but I wasn’t doing it for myself. I was doing it for the town. It gave the town so much publicity. No one knew where Rhode Island was in 1984.”